Posted on June 5, 2007
Well, this is about as far as I can take this one (I think…when a painting is knocking about in the studio, I sometimes see many more other things that might possibly be done). It’s what I call a ‘large small’ painting, not quiet a medium size but certainly not a post-card size minature. When working on plein-air paintings in the studio, there’s always the risk of losing the ‘freshness’ that can be found in ‘being there’ on the spot, the experience of the event, in that unique & particular moment in time.
I’ve felt extra close to the river Dordogne this past week, as we’ve had old friends & god-children down to stay on holiday. We all went for a really long lovely (no better word) canoe trip on the Dordogne. I post below something more like the the ‘canoe’s -eye view’. A truly beautiful river. These memories live in the mind’s eye, and guide the hand to see better the essential in the scene before one. The Dordogne at Bergerac is large & wide, dark & strong, sometimes mirror-like or sometimes, like in the above painting, all cut-up, stormy & more like the sea than a wee river. Begerac is the town where we were married, where my wife &, now, my two children were born. A really good town. A good place to paint.– even in the rain!
‘Reedbeds at Lalinde’ 72 x 36 cm.
Posted on May 24, 2007
Same landmark tree as before, this time standing in the high grass. Not dark till ten o’clock.
Note that this is 36 x 48 cm & not 30 x 40 cm. It’s a classic french format, a 8 Figure, very pleasing. 8 F was my standard small sized painting for these last five years. It’s larger & squarer. It gives a good stable centre, spacious & generous, a good visual field before you seem to be bouncing off the edges. I will be priming up another batch of the 3 x 4 proportions of ‘photographic’ format; its smaller size means that it’s quicker to lay-in the base of a plein-air painting but sometimes, the landscape does demand … the larger picture. Each set of proportions needs alot of painting before they yield up some of their secrets.
Posted on May 22, 2007
38 x 46 cm. Oil on Panel.© The Artist.
Back painting again & it felt good. Incidentally, the sunshine is back as well after a week’s absence. It’s been cold.& rainy here, a paradise for the slugs. Spoke to the farmer who confirmed what I suspected, that the young sunflower plants had indeed suffered a slug attack, which is a shame as the fields of these brave & sunny flowers is one of the heartlifting sights of the South West.
BTW, the oak in this painting is the same as in this painting from last summer. A landmark for miles around. Although it was not done as part of this ‘ a painting a week’ project, I post it because personally I like to see paintings of the same spot grouped together. Categories, not chronology. It’s done from the other side, looking up the hill, over a field of yellow corn.
Posted on April 26, 2007
30 x 40 cm. Oil on panel.
One of the exceptional things about the South West is the sheer density of history. You go out for a drive, and not too infrequently when you turn around a corner, you see a huge chateau or a crumbling medieval church or a house built into a cliff face.
Château de Biron is gigantesque. You can see it looming above the horizon line from miles away. Here I’ve painted it from about two miles away, as it sticks above the tree line. It is set amidst a baronial hunting forest, mixed oak & pine.
‘VERS BIRON’ 2004
12 Figure (61 x50 cm) Oil on Canvas. Ask for price. 2004.
This is an oil from 2004, done from the hill in my commmune, looking towards Biron. You can just about make out the chateau on the horizon line, in the middle of the canvas. I tought I’d post it to give you an idea of just how far away you can see the chateau. Biron is twenty six kilometres from the spot where I painted this.
Posted on April 23, 2007
12 Figure (61 x50 cm). Oil on canvas. Ask for price.
Some more rambling musings about ‘THE VIEW’ and previous painters…(thinking out loud but not sure where this is going).
Famous views have been looked at many times (so therefore people recognise them). They have also been painted many times as well. Last september I went to St Rémy en Provence & I painted this. In Vincent’s footsteps. Walk a mile in my shoes…well,
not exactly in his shoes (ahh, those old rugged worn boots of his, Vincent mon pauvre GRAND ) but it felt that he was closeby. His paintings had merged into hills & into the clouds. And had merged into my perception of the famous view of the famous chateau on the famous hill.
Posted on April 12, 2007
I was rooting around in my painting stock & dug this one out from last autumn. Always a bit of a jolt to redsicover old works. I’m getting ready for an exhibition ‘Festivale Flore Faune en Périgord Pourpre’ (Cunéges, 26 mai – 2 juin), & so I guess some framing is to be done (yawn). The vines, of course, what else? I thought the clouds in this one were a fine example of cirrus & vapour trails, the heavy humid winey fermenting whitish glow that sits over the ripe grapes… I hope this blast from the past isnt throwing the blog’s realtime streamingout of kilter! Outside, it is spring. No painting today.
Posted on April 3, 2007
12 Figure (format Français) 50 x 61 cm. Oil on Canvas. Unfinished state.
I had an interesting conversation with my neighbour, Monsuier Verdier whose plum orchard I’ve painted here, about ‘la lune rousse’. If the night sky is clear, the april moon will shine with a red tinge & there will be a risk of frost, which can burn or redden (‘roussir’) the fragile buds & baby fruits. If however the night sky is covered, then no red moon & thus no frosts.
Please note that is in unfinished… & still in danger of being nipped in the bud. Not always evident to finish a painting. Can take years. Slow painting indeed. One painting took ten years before I saw what it needed. But of course at this stage it was more like grafting on another painting onto a previous stock. Which is how most fruit trees are raised as well.
As I post this, the evening sky has clouded over.
Posted on February 17, 2007
Posted on January 29, 2007